Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen 87: O Christmas Tree

1. Christmas trees are known to have been popular in Germany as far back as the sixteenth century. In England, they became popular after Queen Victoria's husband Albert, who came from Germany, made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle. In the United States, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.

2. The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.

3. The Canadian province of Nova Scotia leads the world in exporting lobster, wild blueberries, and Christmas trees.

4. California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the top Christmas tree producing states in the US.

5. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year; 25 percent of them are from the nation's 5,000 choose-and-cut farms.

6. The best selling Christmas trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, Balsam fir and white pine.

7. For every real Christmas tree harvested, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted in its place.

8. Cultured Christmas trees must be shaped as they grow to produce fuller foliage. To slow the upward growth and to encourage branching, they are hand-clipped in each spring. Trees grown in the wild have sparser branches, and are known in the industry as "Charlie Brown" trees.

9. The northern European custom of the candlelit Christmas tree is derived from the belief that it sheltered woodland spirits when other trees lost their leaves during winter.

10. Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. The idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles.

11. America's official national Christmas tree is located in King's Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the "General Grant Tree," is over 300 feet (90 meters) high. It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.

12. The country of Norway has presented the UK with a Christmas tree every year since WWII as thanks for their help during the war. The tree stands in Trafalgar Square.

13. Franklin Pierce was the first United States' president to decorate an official White House Christmas tree. Theodore Roosevelt, a staunch conservationist, banned Christmas trees in his home, even when he lived in the White House. His children, however, smuggled them into their bedrooms.


Stephanie Adkins * Adelle Laudan * Pamela Sweet
Shelley Munro * Ms Menozzi * Nina Grey
Hootin' Anni * Jennifer McKenzie * Rhonda Leigh Jones
MomE * Kristen * Paige Tyler * Carol * Paula
Nina Pierce * MInTheGap * Mary
Inez Kelley * Janice Seagraves * Nicholas

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Alice Audrey said...

So that's where the trees come from. I just assumed the corner lot snagged them from the hills.

Pamela Sweet said...

Very interesting post! We always have an artificial tree as I'm allergic to the real thing but I sure love their scent!

Happy Holidays!

Heather said...

Alice - Ha, ha! You "sleigh" me, really. ;)

Pamela - I also love the scent of pine, but they are too much work and way too expensive for me. My little artificial tree does just fine! *g*

Alice Audrey said...


Shelley Munro said...

I love a real Christmas tree, but they always look so sad after Christmas is finished - all dried up and discarded on the side of the road.

Ms Menozzi said...

When I was growing up, putting the artificial tree together was one of the highlights of the season. I knew Christmas was just around the corner when my dad would haul the box out and start fussing and cussing. LOL!

Great memories, but no tree this year (the kitten would destroy it, utterly)! Oh, well. They're not that popular in Italy, really. And they're so tiny, here!

Fun list - thanks for sharing! :)

Happy TT!

Nina said...

Cool! Now, did you know that at first the Christmas tree in Swe was hung upside down over the dining room table?


Hootin' Anni said...

I didn't know #10.

Come by and visit with me today and check out my thirteen if you have a little time. Happy Thursday.

Adelle said...

How sad to have to smuggle a tree to your bedroom lol Happy Holidays!

Stephanie Adkins said...

Great information. :) I love Christmas trees. Happy Thursday! *HUGS*

Jennifer McKenzie said...

We get a permit and go cut our own "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. The Redneck is a stellar Tree finder though. He found a gorgeous one this year. A silver tip.
And when I was a kid, Dad would take us to the tree farm. I loved that too.
I didn't know the tree in Trafalger square came from Norway. How cool.

Rhonda Leigh Jones said...

Oh, I love Christmas trees. I like either Frasier or Douglas, and I forget which it is. It's the fluffy one, not the one that looks like a cactus, lol!

MomE said...

That's interesting about Teddy R. Even more interesting about his kids! HA! Happy Thursday and thanks for the new info.

Kristen said...

That was a really great list. Thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

That's some interesting bits of history right there. Good T-13!

Merry Christmas from She Lives!

Paula said...

What a neat 13! Thanks

Paige Tyler said...

Very cool facts!


My TT is at

Nina Pierce said...

We had the same theme this week! Just seemed a natural topic ... didn't it? Happy T13

MInTheGap said...

I actually knew about the hand trimming, but not some of the other trivia-- nice work!

Happy T13!

Mary said...

What a great list. I learn something new every Thursday!

Heather said...

Shelley- Yes, a dead Christmas tree has to be one of the saddest sights!

Ms Menozzi - Sorry you won't have a tree this year, but I know you'll have a great Christmas without one!

Nina G - Interesting fact about Swedish Christmas trees, but you didn't tell us why they used to hang them upside down. No fair! :D

Anni - Loved your TT quiz, thanks for visiting!

Adelle - I know! Teddy's children must have been quite clever to do so. Can't imagine it'd be easy to smuggle anything into the White House, let alone a tree! lol

Heather said...

Stephanie - Thank you, Merry Christmas!

Jennifer - Although we had a few real trees growing up, we never cut them down ourselves. Sounds like a fun family activity, and what's not to love about a 'Charlie Brown' tree?

Rhonda - "Not the one that looks like a cactus," LOL - funny! Thanks for visiting and Merry Christmas!

MomE - That was an interesting tidbit, wasn't it? Happy Holidays!

Kristen - Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

Carol - Thanks, and thank you for visiting! :)

Heather said...

Paula - Thank you!

Paige - Thanks, I can't wait to see the ornaments you've posted this week!

Nina Pierce - You know what they say, GMTA! *grin*

MInTheGap - Thanks! Merry Christmas!

Mary - Isn't it great to gain a little knowledge or "useless" trivia in such a fun way?

Nicholas said...

I knew about Prince Albert, and the tree from Norway in Trafalgar Square every year, but I didn't know the rest. I am very pleased about #7.

Janice said...

Charley Brown Christmas tree? Yeah, I can picture it.

Happy TT and happy Holidays.


Heather said...

Nicholas - That is a nice fact to know, isn't it? Reforestation is definitely a good thing! Thanks for visiting!

Janice - Charlie Brown trees are so pathetically cute, though, aren't they? Merry Christmas!

Nina said...

Strangely I cannot find the reason why, but methinks it was space issues. The poor people in Swe did not have the extra corner in which to put the Christmas tree.